With a deep passion for ethical farming practices, education and transparency, Rohan and Fiona Morris have created an oasis of inspiration and discovery at Gleneden Family Farm.
We want to farm in a positive, hope filled way,” Fiona said over a lunch of farm raised pork, beef, lamb, fresh vegetables and delicious homemade preserves. “Farming can be regenerative, incorporating diversity, wildlife and production.”
Nestled in the North Branch Valley east of Warwick, Gleneden Family Farm is a welcoming haven for anyone wanting to learn about bullock teams, sustainable growing methods and holistic farming principles. “We give people the opportunity to come and appreciate a genuine farm,” Fiona said. “We bridge that gap between farming and urban families.”
Guests are welcome to visit Gleneden for the day or pull up a camper, trailer or tent and camp on the gorgeous 640 acre property. They are able to choose from guided tours that lead around the property and incorporate visits to the Morris cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and gardens. They can also see Rohan, one of Australia’s last bullockies, at work with his bullock team, watch blacksmithing, greenhide whip making, wheelwrighting and other craft displays. Visitors can learn about bush timberwork and how to use the farm gear of old, from mouldboard ploughs to a Tumbling Tommy Scoop. “Rohan has always loved heritage crafts, doing things with his hands and sharing the history,” Fiona said.
Looking for adventure and inspiration, the pair went to Europe travelling as WWOOFers, Willing Workers On Organic Farms. The experience changed their lives as they observed and learned organic farming methods that would transform their farming ethos. “We thought, there’s got to be better ways of being a farmer and better ways of producing food,’” Fiona said. “When we started looking, this whole world of information just opened up.”
Before settling at North Branch in 2016, Rohan and Fiona managed his family’s farm near Gayndah. They began producing the best food they could, incorporating techniques they had learned overseas and from other regenerative farmers. “We produce the best that we can because our kids eat it, and we want them to have the best nutrition they can,” Fiona explains.
In caring for their family’s nutrition,
the couple realised that not everyone is able to grow their own food, so they expanded their production to sell directly to consumers. They grow and sell chemical free, pasture fed beef and lamb, pastured pork, ham and bacon, and seasonal vegetables from their gardens. “Many of our customers have been our campers,” Fiona said. “You form a nice bond of trust. They feel connected to the landscape. They know who is farming their food, where it’s come from and that we care about how it’s grown.”
Rohan and Fiona continue to study and experiment, seeking out good farmers to see what they do, creating healthy products, and maintaining transparency. “We’re always learning,” Fiona said.
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